One of the Babes: Cené
Meet Cené, amazing actress, writer and comedian babe who regularly performs with Austin's first all-black female improve troupe Damn Gina!, the musical sketch group Love Me Tinder, B. Iden Payne Award-winning Broadway-style musical improv troupe, Girls Girls Girls, and performs with Loverboy every Wednesday at 8:30pm at Coldtowne Theater! Learn more about this badass babe below and check out her website here.
Q: What inspired you to start working in the field/Industry? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: I didn’t “officially” start doing comedy until I was 25 or 26, when I signed up for my first improv class. Performing has always been a part of my life but, usually, it just consisted of me overacting in the background of a community theater production of Music Man or South Pacific.
Lucille Ball was the first person I remember being obsessed with. I watched every single episode of ‘I Love Lucy’, ‘The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour’, ‘The Lucy Show’, ‘Here’s Lucy’ and ‘Life with Lucy.’ Yeah, I told you, OBSESSED. She was the first woman I saw myself in. Also, the show was the first and —for a while—only time I had seen an interracial couple portrayed in a normal way. I’m multi-racial girl from the south so this was a big deal for me.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: The two of the best lines of advice I’ve ever received about following my passion:
“Keep On Keepin’ On” — My Grandmother
“Do it. Just Do It.” Shia LaBeouf and Nike
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity?
A: I’m usually at my most creative when I have a deadline for a completely non-related project or when I’m in my car stuck in traffic. The ideas usually come in quick bursts that only last about 5 minutes, tops, before they disappear. My favorite song “Buzzah” came up that way. I was driving home from work or rehearsal and I just started humming a melody that reminded me of how I felt when I used my good vibrator (you know, the one that you’ll cancel plans with your friends to spend time with) using the sound it made as the chorus. When I came up with it, I immediately called my friend Tauri and was like, “I think I just came up with something really funny.” I sang it for her and she was like “OOOoo gurl!” then helped me write the rest of it.
Q: What have been your most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
A: My most challenging moments have been getting through the days I feel like I’m “not good enough.” It’s a constant struggle to not give up. But I made a pact with myself when I got back into performing — “Don’t Quit.” I take that pact very seriously and since then I’ve noticed that I’m accomplishing way more than I thought I would. I’ve also noticed that my “not good enough” days have been further and further apart from each other. That’s huge for me.
Q: What's your day job?
A: Livin’ dat corporate life (throwin’ up deuces in my oversized pleated khakis, holding a 6-year-old Dell laptop, while Snoop Dog’s 1993 hit song ‘Gin and Juice’ plays on my CD Walkman).
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: When I’m discouraged I tend to run away from other humans and into my studio apartment where I’ll eat my feelings until winter is over and listen to audiobooks about “Living Your Most You Life You Can Live For Yourself Confidently.” Also, I play a lot of Beyonce.
Your favorite band at the moment: Beyonce and Stromae. If you don’t know who he is, you should. He’s the Beyonce of Europe.
Your favorite book at the moment: Janet Mock’s "Redefining Realness"
Your local Austin gem: Tigress is everything.
Like me! On Facebook and in real life. Please pretty please? Am I coming on too strong? I’m sorry it won’t happen again (as I pull my sleeve down over my wrist where I’ve tattooed your name next to BFF4VA).